Craig Allen’s Fun Facts: “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House
"Crowded House" is Neil Finn on vocals, guitar and keyboards...Paul Hester on vocals and guitar...and Nick Seymour on bass.
Finn and Hester formed the band in Melbourne Australia in 1985...after playing together as part of the New Zealand band "Split Enz."
Nick Seymour asked to audition for the new band, as Split Enz was on their "Enz With A Bang" farewell tour in 1984.
Originally calling themselves the "Mullanes"...Mullane is Neil Finn's middle name...
The name "Crowded House" comes from the fact that the band was living in a tiny home...a "crowded house"...in Los Angeles, while recording their self-titled debut album!
Which includes our spotlight song!
"Don't Dream It's Over" was written by Neil Finn, on his brother's piano, Finn adding: "it was just about on the one hand feeling kind of lost, on the other hand sort of urging myself on: Don't Dream It's Over."
Finn says that the song's subject and title weren't a big deal, that it all "actually fell out literally, without me thinking about it too much."
About the writing/recording process in Los Angeles, Neil Finn recalls that "The day I did it, I knew I had something special. The next day, we played it with the band, and it sounded like a bag of s**t!"
That's when Mitchell Froom, the producer of the first three Crowded House albums, stepped in. According to Finn, "It was only when Mitchell suggested the bassline, which Nick (Seymour) elaborated on, that it really found its groove."
And, found its place in the radio listener's hearts...as albums and singles started flying off record store shelves!
That includes my CD!
"Don't Dream It's Over" debuted on the Hot 100 chart in January 1987...and as Neil Finn puts it: "It took a while, but then (it) started to work in the US, and the whole record went on to have a pretty big life."
Big indeed, as "Don't Dream It's Over" continued to climb the charts...all the way to #2!
It went to #1 in Canada.
Initially, New Zealand radio gave Crowded House lukewarm support at best...but, when "Don't Dream It's Over" caught on worldwide, New Zealand caught on...giving it a #1 finish.
In Australia, "Don't Dream It's Over" became a #8 chart hit.
Without question, our spotlight song is the band's biggest commercial hit!
In March 1987, Crowded House took home the "Best New Talent," along with "Song Of The Year" and "Best Video" awards at the first-ever "Australian Recording Industry Association Awards."
Here in the US, Crowded House won the MTV Video Music Award for "Best New Artist Of 1987."
In intervening years, the song has been "covered" by other recording artists, Including Paul Young, who made it a hit of his own in 1991. Previously, Young had sung the song at the Nelson Mandela Tribute Concert in 1989...
It was used in the 1994 TV miniseries adaptation of Stephen King's "The Stand."
In 2001, "Don't Dream It's Over" was voted the #7 song in a poll of the Best Australian Songs Of Al Time, by the Australian Performing Rights Association.
It came to symbolize...
...New Zealand Tourism in 2005!
And, of course, it lives on, with continuous radio airplay to this day!
What happened in the aftermath of this huge, international hit?
"Something So Strong," the follow up single, was big hit, too!
It cruised into the Top-10, stopping at #7 in the summer of 1987!
Of course, the pressure was on...to produce more hits...and successful albums.
Subsequent Crowded House albums sold well in the United Kingdom...but commercial success has been elusive since, here in the USA...
With the release of a "Greatest Hits" compilation, Crowded House broke up in 1996...each of the members taking on their own projects...
...after their "Farewell To The World" Tour.
There have been various one-off reunions...mini tours...and some new music...since 2006.
To date, Crowded House has 7 studio albums, and several compilations to their credit.
More Fun Facts?
I posed the question at the top of this article:
WHO has designed all the album art?
AND some of the costumes that band members wear in the photo shoots?
Bassist Nick Seymour!
As various "other" artists would come and go over the years, Nick Finn's brother, Tim Finn, the founder of Split Enz, would join Crowded House for a time, in 1990.
Tim Finn was a "guest" with the band, as they performed at the Sydney Opera House, in November 2016...
...in honor of the 20th anniversary of the 1996 "Farewell To The World" tour.
Yes, the brother on who's piano "Don't Dream It's Over" was "written!"
Crowded House...goes full circle...with Neil Finn saying of "Don't Dream It's Over" in 2016: "I really enjoy singing it, every time I do it."
I don't like having to end on a sad note, but, Paul Hester was found dead in 2005...reportedly, he had been suffering from depression for several years.
In the rock world, not all facts are...fun.
THIS JUST IN: According to Rolling Stone Magazine, Neil Finn will replace the departing Lindsey Buckingham, as Fleetwood Mac hits the tour circuit this summer!
Finn will work along with Mike Campbell of "Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers."
Mick Fleetwood saying "this is the right combination to go forward with...We know we have something new, yet it's got the unmistakable Mac sound."
And, the rock rolls on!